Monday, June 30, 2008

Thanks for nothing, AMC.

Ok, now I'm pissed.

I was all excited when my tv guide indicated that AMC (American Movie Classics...scoff) would be showing Big Business. The 1980s classic comedy starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin as two sets of twins that get mixed up and separated. One Bette and Lily are raised in Manhattan by their high-power stoke-broker parents, and one set of Bette and Lily are raised in the sticks. When the rich Bette and Lily's company decides to strip-mine the town of poor Bette and Lily (Juniper Hollow, natch), hijinks ensue!

Anyway, this movie is comedy gold, and is the source of my dream to always stay in the Plaza Hotel in NYC one day. So imagine my shock when I sit down to watch the movie on my DVR and instead I am given....Caddyshack. Don't get me wrong. Caddyshack is a great flick. But I was really hoping that it would be Big Business. My DVR list even TOLD me it would be Big Business.

Why you gotta do that to me, AMC? Bastards.

Friday, June 20, 2008

They're An-i-man-ee, totally insane-y, ANIMANIACS!

The cartoon equivalent of a sketch comedy show, Animaniacs stands out at a unique piece of "children's" television. But I have a hard time believing that it was ever intended for kids. The humor was intelligent, sarcastic and often not-so-vaguely sexual. The Warner kids interpreted Shakespeare - and implied that Hamlet and Yorick were, ahem, close. They rinsed Beethoven's mouth out when he claimed to be a pianist (Don't get the joke? Try saying it out loud in a German accent). One of the characters was known simply as "Hello Nurse," a popular catcall from the days of vaudeville. Face facts, everybody - this show was naughty.

Recurring character, Minerva Mink. Down, furries.

Besides, many of the sketches would probably confuse the average child. Goodfeathers (two words: pigeon mafia) was obviously a send-up of Goodfellas, and how many eight year olds are familiar with Martin Scorsese films? Chicken Boo was a triumph of surrealist humor (a six-foot tall chicken slaps on a fake mustache and becomes a Civil War general ... and no one notices). Producer Steven Spielberg (that's right, the Steven Spielberg) is quoted as saying Animaniacs utilized "humor of social commentary and irreverence ... inspired by the Marx Brothers."

Well put, Mr. Spielberg.

I suppose Animaniacs is redeemed by its educational segments. If you're cramming for a geography exam, check out Yakko's World and Wakko's America. And who could forget the lessons we learned from The Wheel Of Morality?

My favorite moral:
People in glass houses should dress with the lights out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The WB is Back?!?

Months ago I found this article on and I got quite excited for a number of reasons. First and foremost: finally I could watch Everwood again. I really loved that show and I’ve been so disappointed that only the 1st season is available on DVD. Especially because it was the 2nd season that really made me love the show. Next: I’d be able to catch up on some old favorites including Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek (I know but its true, I loved that show!). And its just not the same watching those on ABC Family or TBS. And let’s me honest, Netflix is great but sometimes it takes too long.

Last week, on a lark I checked out the beta version of the website. I logged in, gave them my email and yesterday I got an email back saying I had been approved to check it out. Now, I knew not to expect much – after all it was just a beta version of the website. There were limited shows available and even more limited episodes but it got me excited. I as able to catch up on an ep of The OC! I just wish there was more to see now. There are some fun, albeit simple games to play, mostly trivia based. The most exciting part though was an “under construction” tab with several “Originals.” I don’t claim to know what that exactly means, but it seems webisodes are here and are making a huge comeback.

All I can saw is, I’m logging forward to seeing The Frog this Fall!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rose by any other name...

It's a proven fact that Rose (aka Billie Piper) took the Doctor, a 900 year-old asexual alien, and turned him into the kissy-est time lord to ever fly a TARDIS.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

And with good reason. Not to put too fine a point on it, but ... the girl is hot. Her scrunchy little nose, curvy body, and that adorable way she smiles with her tongue out. In a word: rawr. She continues to demonstrate how delectable she is in the new-to-US show, Secret Diary of a Call Girl (originally aired in the UK September 2007, it premiered this side of the pond last Monday on Showtime).

Is it hot in here, or is it just her?

Based on the purportedly non-fiction books and blog of "Belle de Jour," a former escort in London, this show promises to be salacious and riveting. Piper plays both Hannah, a young woman trying to make her way in the world, and her alter-ego Belle, a hard-nosed high-class hooker. This was a stroke of pure casting genius - Piper can go from Girl Next Door to Sex Kitten in ten seconds flat. The one thing that worries me is that in some of the promotional materials Piper looks awfully skinny. I would hate hate hate it if she lost weight for the role, for motives both altruistic (she has struggled with anorexia) and selfish (she looks better with some meat on her bones).

Sadly, I do not get Showtime. All I can do is add Secret Diary to my Netflix queue. Availability... Unknown. *pout*


Point of interest, "Belle" uses the same blog template as I do. Of course, she doesn't have a big goofy picture of her family as the header. I win.

Monday, June 16, 2008

High School Cracksical

I really don't know what to say. There is no excuse. All I can say is that I was tired, Selvi had never seen it, and I must have had some kind of aneurysm. There is no other reason why I would feel the need to watch High School Musical 1 and 2 for a second time (each) and back to back.

But Selvi had never seen them before! And I had to feed my inappropriate crush of Zac Efron!

But here's the thing. I forgot how really bad these movies are. I mean some of the songs aren't bad (You Are The Music in Me) and some are catchy (What I've Been Looking For), but most are REALLY bad. Like painfully bad. As is the acting. Except for Zac (who can do no wrong shut up I am not listening to you la la la) and Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay who is my favorite character, it's shit. But this is Disney Channel! What do you expect?

Things I was NOT expecting were a) the blatant homosexual context to the I Don't Dance number.

You say you don't dance? I beg to differ. Also, Corbin Bleu? REALLY?

b) the blatant allusions to incest between Ryan and Sharpay. They always play the leads in the school plays, you know.

They're really just brother and sister. They swear.

c) how embarrassed I was for everyone involved in the project. I literally had to avert my eyes during the Bet On It number because I was so embarrassed for Zac dancing around the golf course. Oy.

AHHHH! Cannot watch! Must avert eyes!

Yeah, but you know I will probably see the third movie. In the theatre. Oh, the shame!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008



No, seriously. BOO!

Behold the power of Starbuck's bitchface. Yeah, that's right...suck on some viper, bitches!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tears On My Pillow

I am chalking it up to hormones. That is the only rational explanation for my sudden and inexplicable sappiness lately. I don't consider myself an overly emotional person, but television shows have just been getting to me and I have been sobbing like a little girl at the drop off of a hat.

But, you know, not really. I think the things that I have been crying at have been genuinely moving and it's not like I have a heart of stone. So maybe it's not all me. Maybe I have just been watching some hard-core moving stuff lately. So I am going to stand by my crying.

Let's see:

First there was the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica last Friday. When Roslin told Adama that she loved him....waterworks, y'all. And he had perhaps the best response to someone saying, "I love you" ever....."About time."

Then, there was Gilmore Girls. I have been slowly making my way through all of Gilmore Girls, and when Luke and Lorelai FINALLY hooked up at the end of Season 4, I was psyched. AND THEN. Middle of Season 5 hit and shit went down. So when Lorelai tearfully called Luke and asked him to come over because he was her best friend and she needed her best come the tears again.

"Hey, Luke, it's me. I know I'm not supposed to be calling, but I am not doing really great right now, and… I was just wondering if, do you remember in 'The Way We Were', how Katie and Hubbell broke up...and she called him and asked him if he would come over and sit with her because he was her best friend and she needed her best friend, and he did."

Finally, we get to Doctor Who. I suppose rewatching Doomsday was not the best idea when I knew I was so emotionally fragile, but it still happened. Sigh.

Rose: I.... I love you.
The Doctor: Quite right too. And I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it: Rose Tyler...

Margaret: *cries*

Here's hoping for a less nerve-racking television experience next week!!

Somewhere Over the Raindbow

So I’ve had some time to kill on my hands, and I’ve been watching some of my extensive favorite TV shows on DVD. In anticipation for the upcoming X-Files movie – which I am quite psyched about – I dusted off the only season of series I have, Season 6. It happens to have two of my all-time favorite episodes (including one written and directed by David Duchovony!), “The Unnatural” and “Triangle.” Now, if you have not seen either one, go to Netflix and get Discs 5 and 1 (respectively). The pleasure in “The Unnatural” is seeing some familiar faces before they really hit (Jesse Martin in his pre-L&O days) and a recurring star from Lost (but I won’t say who). The entire episode centers around the confluences of two things: baseball and aliens. What’s not to love?

While I could go on and on about this episode, I was struck by a couple things while watching the earlier episode “Triangle.” This one was written and director why series creator Chris Carter, and like Joss Whedon, Carter often directed the season openers, finales and “fun” episodes in-between. You might miss it on first viewing, but the entire episode is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock! Each scene – from c-break to c-break – is one long shot. Before the West Wing walk-and-talk became popular, Carter was doing these long single-shot takes (according to there are actually 34 cuts cleverly hidden). But what an incredible feat! The main thing that struck me was this: why are there so many homages to The Wizard of Oz?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much of a fan as everyone else. I grew up watching the movie on TV every year or so. I never did read Baum’s original book, nor did I ever see the musical adaptation. A few years ago I read Wicked, and liked it, and although I still haven’t seen the musical I’ve heard some of the tunes, and I respect the opinion of those who have seen it and loved it. But what’s so special about The Wizard of Oz that everyone is re-telling the story (Tin Man) and doing an homage to it ( I may be alone on this but I think Michael Chabon’s new book Gentleman of the Road is also an homage with one of the main characters constantly described as a scarecrow).

“Triangle” quite consciously references Oz, from its opening scene of Mulder in the water near a shipwrecked boat, appropriately named Lady Garland, to its closing scenes where Skinner mentions “his little dog Toto” and Scully where she tells Mulder to close his eyes and think “there’s no place like home.” Let’s not forget how the Lone Gunmen reminds one of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion; nor the fact that everyone on the boat is someone Mulder knows from “back home.”

X-Files is not the only show that did this homage. Another of my favorite shows, and actually one of my favorite episodes of that show, is also an homage to Oz. Check out what Zach Braff does in the 100th episode of Scrubs, titled “My Way Home.” There is no disguising the Oz references here, from the opening scene using the music of Toto, JD’s voice-over connecting Carla, Turk and Elliot to the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. And to top it off, Ted’s band singing “Over the Rainbow” – Iz-style!

There are many more subtle references, and I’m sure there are other TV shows that have done homages to The Wizard of Oz. Obviously I love these shows and these episodes but it makes me wonder, what is it about The Wizard of Oz that makes so many fine storytellers want to tell and re-tell this story. Is it indeed that America has no defining mythology and there is something in here that has tapped into the collective consciousness and which makes people come back to it time and again, plumbing its very depths for new fun and new meaning. Or am I just making too much out of something.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Secret Boyfriend of the Week: so meaty!

Dimples and a spiffy wardrobe? Check.
Acerbic wit and a keen sense of the ridiculous? Check.
No sense of shame to speak of?

Double Check.

What more could a woman (or man) need in a Secret Boyfriend of the Week than The Soup host Joel McHale? Absolutely nothing.

It should come as no surprise that my blogging style is inspired, in part, by The Soup. This show takes everything that is wrong with television today and turns it into 30 minutes of pure comedic gold. For those of you not familiar (what is wrong with you?), The Soup is a clip show on E! that mocks reality TV, talk shows, movies ... basically everything and anything in entertainment worthy of derision. It makes watching all those terrible, terrible shows okay, because you're just doing it as social commentary. McHale makes it all the better with his self-deprecating humor and - dare I say it? - humility.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm doing the Lord's work," said McHale in a recent A.V. Club interview, possibly with a straight face. Amen to that, buddy.

For those looking for your first helping of Soup, or if you just want to get in line for seconds, check out these videos on the E! website. Or, you know, one of the eighteen billion weekly re-runs. Actually, check the E! channel right now - it may well be on as we speak. Er, as I blog. Whatever.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Castle: hopefully more than another crime serial

I love Nathan Fillion. You know it, I know it, everyone in the free world freakin knows it. I started watching Desperate Housewives for him, for goodness sake. I do like to keep an eye on him, so I occasionally visit his IMDB page.

Turns out, Nathan is filming a new tv series for 2009. It's called Castle, and here's the description from the show's website:

Castle is a witty drama based on a famous mystery novelist who helps the NYPD homicide department solve crimes.

Nick Castle [Nathan Fillion] had grown weary of having it all, “fame, fans and females”, until he was approached by the attractive Detective Kate Beckett [Stana Katic] of the NYPD to help catch the copy-cat killer staging murders based on scenes from his novels.

Castle’s approach to solving the crimes conflicts with Beckett’s conservative approach leading to much tension and a hint of romance.

Keeping Castle grounded are his mother, teenage daughter Alexis [Molly C. Quinn], poker playing friends James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and Stephen King and his ex wife Gina who is also his editor.

Ok, so wait a minute. Does that mean that James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and Stephen King will actually be in the show? Because that would be pretty awesome. And everyone loves some good old fashioned UST.

I see that ABC is the corporation behind the show....while that doesn't necessarily mean it will air on ABC, I am going to advise Nathan to avoid FOX at all costs. Let's just say he and FOX don't have the best track record.

Yeah, you look happy now, Nathan. But you better hope your new show doesn't air on FOX. Run from FOX, Nathan, run!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Do you remember the time

Remember when Zach Gilford was the Secret Boyfriend of the Week? I do.


I'll tell you. Something that vaguely resembles a beard tried to eat his face.

Zach, honey. Shave now. Before it's too late!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I just "Expelled" my lunch

Ben Stein is a smart man - he has been a lawyer, a professor, and a White House speech writer. His game show, Win Ben Stein's Money, showed us that he knows a great deal about any number of subjects. When I first heard that he was making a movie about the Evolution vs Creationism debate, I was intrigued. When I realized he was coming down on the side of 'intelligent design,' I was appalled.

Let me admit my bias: in my opinion, 'intelligent design' is not science. Because its definition includes the existence of a supernatural being, it cannot be proved or disproved. Therefore, I do not think it should be published in scientific journals or taught in science classrooms. According to Stein this makes me part of Big Science, a vast left-wing conspiracy to quash independent thought and refute the existence of god.

Expelled has all the elements of really good propaganda. The proponents of 'intelligent design' are interviewed by Stein sitting in their homes, local coffee shops or outdoors, using natural lighting and flattering camera angles. Scientists, on the other hand, are shown answering questions in darkened offices or laboratories, usually standing up and facing the camera. Ominous music plays in the background every time one of them questions Judeo-Christian doctrine. Stein visits concentration camps and relives the dark days of eugenics, essential equating evolutionary biologists with Nazi 'scientists.' I so wish that was an exaggeration.

This movie would be hilarious, if it wasn't so painful to watch. Not because it makes you question evolutionary theory or think critically about 'intelligent design' (trust me, it does neither). But because a smart, funny man is exposed as nothing but a shyster, a fake.

Class dismissed.

For more information, check out Expelled Exposed from the National Center for Science Education.

Finale Round-Up

After weeks and weeks of effort, I think I have finally made my way through the season finale's of this spring's shows. So here are my thoughts:

House: I think this one takes the prize for best finale. While some have called this season uneven, I have to disagree. Even as a relative new-comer to the show, I was becoming bored by the formulaic episodes, and I thought shaking up the cast was brilliant. But the finale, with the trippiness of House's hallucinations, the slo-mo bus accident, and the aftermath of Amber's injuries and death, was fantastic. I don't often cry at tv shows, but Robert Sean Leonard and Anne Dudek knocked it out of the park and left me a quivering mass of tear and snot.

Supernatural: OMG they went there. I thought it was inevitable that Dean would get dragged to hell, but I never thought we would actually see the hellhounds rip him to shreds. I don't think I have ever squirmed so much during a television show. And once again Supernatural proves that little children are always evil. ALWAYS.

Bones: I am a very casual Bones viewer, but WTF? Zack is evil? And has his hands burned off? LAME.

Lost: People are raving about this finale, but for me it was somewhere between "very good" and "meh." Which I guess means it scores an "it was alright." The story certainly moved forward, as the Oceanic 6 finally made it off the island, and there were of course more mysteries set up for next year, such as where did the island go, but overall. Eh. Even the death of Jin lacked emotional resonance for me because we already knew he was dead and the cause (i.e. the freighter exploding) seemed the most likely culprit. I will say the most genuine moment of shock for me came when Penny appeared on the boat and she and Desmond had their emotional reunion and kiss. I thought for sure this plotline would get dragged out for years, but no! We actually had some resolution! And it was happy! Yay! Also, Claire was effing creepy in Kate's dream.

Desperate Housewives: I started watching this show this season because Nathan Fillion got added to the cast. While I found most of the characters insufferable (Susan and Gabriella, looking at you), I hung in there, and I am glad I did. The finale was exciting, unexpected, had a lot of action, and emotion. I think the shot of Katherine's mother kneeling before the toppled bookcase and Dylan's arm sticking out from underneath it is one of the most disturbing things I have seen and was truly shocking. But it wasn't gratuitous; the show had been building to the reveal of something horrible having had happen, and that certainly fit the bill. Also, Nathan Fillion came back. So, yay! As for the 5 year flash forward, meh. After Battlestar Galactica used it so awesomely, it just feels like a cliche now.

CSI: Is anyone really surprised Warrick got killed off? After the actor's drug bust and wife-beating allegations, it was only a matter of time.

The Office: Oh, boo, Toby is gone. I loved him. And curse you Andy for stealing Jim's chance to propose! The tag at the end with Angela and Dwight engaging in some carnal knowledge of one another would seem to argue against her actually marrying Andy, but who knows with this show. And will Pam be moving to New York? And whose heart did not break when Jan told Michael the baby was not his? God, this show is so good.

Ugly Betty: I don't for one minute believe that Betty would pick Gio or Henry. She is totally going to have an "I choose me!" moment, just you wait. Having said that, I am totally in the Gio camp. Henry had his time and made his choices. See you in Tucson! Also, "the blink and you'll miss it" LiLo cameo was kind of dumb, but it sounds like she will be coming back for a few episodes in the Fall. Oh, and Hilda? You really want to get involved with a married guy? REALLY? He is pretty hot though. Sigh. No easy choices in Betty-land, eh?

American Idol: Don't watch and don't care. You want a recap of that, harass Caroline.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Captain Apollo for President

What happened to Battlestar Galactica?

It’s not that Friday’s night episode was bad. I would not go so far as to say that even when BSG is bad its better than 90% of everything else on TV (maybe 75%).

Of course, the episode had its moments, but really…. Lee as president. I saw that coming from a mile away. In the past Lee has been my favorite character (please Maggie, no comments from the peanut gallery), but every since the “hooker” episode and the fat suit I’ve been less dubious. It seems the writers have tried hard to give him an arc but they kept flailing around searching for the “right” moments. Badger-Nomo is absolutely right, Lee keeps falling into the leadership rolls he has by virtue of his…. virtue. But I’ve felt for a long time that Lee’s (tough to call him Apollo outside of the Viper) destiny is tied up with Starbuck’s. Where does this feeling come from? From watching seasons 1-3 the last three weeks! Even Dee sensed it in the boxing episode. The showdown between Lee and Badger-Nomo was nice, a great throwback to the episode when we first meet Tom Zarek, and it reminded me why I still like Lee, but it still begs the question: what happened to BSG?

The character stuff with the Admiral was better, but once again we saw this coming. Adama finally admits his feelings towards Roslin. Erin Fox at TV Guide has a nice recap about the Adama scenes so I won’t waste time on them.

Two things that bugged me and were never really addressed: 1) If the primary problem with Zarek was not being supported by Adama (it was never really about him not being supported by the military), then doesn’t the idea of Lee as President loose its teeth when Adama steps down. Maybe our favorite acerbic, secret Cylon commander would not be opposed to Zarek. And 2) Tigh and Six are having a baby!!!!????!!!! What does this mean for the evolution of Cylons?

And for all those interested parties, I found a great link about the theology of the show, including a terrific interview with Ron Moore. Check it out on